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COMPETITION FOR PLACES PLEASES STILL

7 August 2015

Boss happy with pre-season progress ahead of League kick-off

After making 11 new signings over the course of the summer you could be forgiven for thinking that manager John Still has a selection headache ahead of Saturday’s League 2 season opener at Accrington.

Following a positive pre-season the Town head to Lancashire with a strong squad to pick from, boosted by the arrival of the new faces.

And Still, is delighted with the strength in depth in the squad as competition for a place in the starting XI starts in earnest at the weekend.

"What we need is 22 players fighting from Monday to Friday to play on Saturday and at the moment in training we've got that," the manager said at his first pre-match press conference on Thursday. "We've tried to make our squad strong and it has good competition for places.

"We're quite pleased, having brought so many in, that 95 per cent are on the same wavelength and the only reason the odd one or two might not be can be for a variety of reasons.

"Pre-season is tiring but everyone's picked up and picked up and picked up. One or two are just a bit behind but there's nothing that will alarm, we're actually surprised we've got so many bang on it, that's a great credit to all of the staff."

What team Still goes with against Stanley remains to be seen, although the boss explained that goalkeeper Elliot Justham is likely to start with Mark Tyler not quite ready as he continues his recovery from a knee injury sustained last season.

"I don’t think Mark has had enough training or quite enough games of the level we’d like, I think he’s probably just a bit behind, so it’s not a difficult decision to make," admitted Still.

"Mark’s very experienced, he can play, there’s no doubt about that, but I think it would be very unfair on him to push him into a situation where he perhaps hasn’t done enough work.

"So in the next week or two, it will be something we’ll have to start thinking about for sure.

"It’s football. When your opportunity comes you have to take it or the door closes and someone else gets their chance. I think Elliot’s done very well, I’ve been very pleased with him to be honest."


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